Oz aids remote learners

December 7, 2001

A project involving the University of Papua New Guinea and Charles Sturt University in New South Wales has received a A$770,000 (£282,000) federal contract to provide distance-education courses for students living in remote regions of the island nation.

Charles Sturt will assist the UPNG in developing courses in 24 subject areas. Australia's international development agency, AusAID, awarded the contract to CSU after receiving tenders from five institutions.

Up to 20 CSU academics will visit UPNG for five weeks at a time to collaborate with colleagues in producing course material. CSU is Australia's largest distance education provider and has 12,000 off-campus students.

Peter Dunn, a member of the CSU team, said its academics would be shadowed by UPNG staff as modules were developed. The material will be delivered in printed format because of the lack of internet access across much of Papua New Guinea.

"The aim is to help high school students prepare for university study," Mr Dunn said.

CSU vice-chancellor Ian Goulter said the arrangement would provide UPNG with insight into delivering distance education courses.

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